Have you always wondered how you go about making changes to your house plans once the project is already underway? Or, perhaps you’re in the middle of a project right now, and you’re wondering how to proceed. The good news is that you can make changes – to an extent. Once parts of your new home are in place, you won’t be able to do a major redesign or make structural changes. But you can make changes to many of the smaller details. We’ll give you an overview of the things you can and can’t do once construction has started.
The Trouble with Structural Changes
The key thing to remember about a home is that designers go to great lengths to make sure that loads are properly balanced from the roof all the way down to the footing. This means that any major structural changes should be made during the design phase, not during the construction phase. Theoretically, you could add space or move rooms around once construction has started, but you’ll run into some major problems:
- You’ll need new drawings and new permits for the changes, which means you’ll spend time and money as your designer and your local engineer go over the changes and approve everything.
- Changing the layout of a home changes the structure of the home. You’ll face major delays as your builder deconstructs most or all of the things that are already in place to start over with new footers, new roof trusses and more.
The cost of your new home will skyrocket. Not only will your builder need more labor and materials to make the changes, but you’ll also be responsible for paying for the time and materials that have already been used but can’t be reused.
Which Changes Can You Make?
This isn’t to say that you can’t make changes at all. Changes that involve the home’s structure may be a bad idea, but there are many other, smaller changes that you can make.
- You can decide to go with a different roofing or siding material. However, keep in mind that if you make a drastic change – say, from rather lightweight shingles to an extremely heavy planted roof, your home may need extra structural support, which would count as a structural change.
- Before the plumbers and electricians arrive, you can tweak the layout of your fixtures, but you’ll need to consult with your designer and your builder to see where they can be moved to.
- You can go with different kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and you can even change up the layout of those cabinets if desired.
You can also make changes to paint and flooring choices, wallboards, window styles and more. However, all of these changes need to be made sooner rather than later. Don’t expect to change the shape and size of your windows if your builder has already installed the framework for them. You should also make every effort to specify a change before your builder orders the materials, otherwise you could end up paying for the materials you originally specified.
For many people, it’s frightening to think that you can’t make big changes once construction has started. If you’re working with an experienced designer, however, then there is no reason to fear. Your designer has all the necessary tools to help you make sure that your future home is exactly what you want.